Home losses aren’t always bad losses. But home losses by 18? Those are almost universally bad.
Middle Tennessee 80, Murray State 62
The AP headline recapping this game reads: “Middle Tennessee outplays Murray State 80-62.” Yep, that just about sums it up. The Racers remain winless against Division I competition on the season, after a drubbing at the hands of the Blue Raiders. This one was hardly in doubt from the tip, as MTSU led throughout. Murray State mostly avoids foul trouble, at least early, but continue their woeful free-throw shooting, hitting just 54% from the charity stripe. The Racers are outrebounded by 17 in this one, another worrying trend on the young season. Five Blue Raiders score in double figures, and MTSU shoots 52% from the floor in a win.
East Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech
In reality, you need three things to play a basketball game: two teams, and referees. Due to a “scheduling error,” there were no referees. Whoops. They’ll play Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Tennessee State 73, Auburn 78
If Tennessee State hit their free-throws, we could be talking about TSU’s first win of the season. Instead, the Tigers go 12-24 from the line, and spoil their best offensive night of the year. As I’ve been calling for all year, Patrick Miller got some help tonight, with Kennedy Eubanks scoring 17 points, and Jacquan Nobles adding a game-high 22 off the bench in the loss. Auburn Star Chris Denson was held quiet until about mid-way through the second half, as he sparked a Auburn rally to help seal their third win over OVC opponents this season.
SIU Edwardsville 81, Oregon State 101
Poor SIU Edwardsville. Playing four games in five days is tough. When that fourth game is against a very good Oregon State team, on 10 days of rest, this is the kind of thing that will happen. Other than SIUE’s inability to beat a pressure defense, (something I’m sure the OVC will notice…) I’m not reading too much into this one, other than SIUE can still score. The Cougars were also competitive on the boards with the larger Beaver squad.
Brescia 68, Belmont 102
If you were, like me, worried about Belmont looking ahead to VCU, that wasn’t a problem. Belmont shoots 61% from the floor in the win.
Three Point Shot
- Murray State has an impressive record of consecutive winning seasons, dating back more than a quarter-century. That’s at risk this year. Looking at their schedule, they might not come out of non-conference play with more than 4 wins. That means Murray State would have to go at least 10-6 and win an OVC Tournament game, or go 11-5 in conference play to finish above .500. Especially after last night, that’s really looking like a tall order.
- Okay, Tennessee State. You’ve shown us that Patrick Miller doesn’t have to do it all. Can you do that again? Because if you can, you may just make yourselves relevant in the OVC, despite the horrible start to your season.
- If there is another “scheduling error” today in Cookeville, can we just pull fans from the stands? Many of them, I’m sure, think they could do a better job anyway? Why not see how that goes…
Player of the Night in a loss: Jacquan Nobles, Tennessee State. 8-11 from the field, 6-9 from 3-point range. Just a huge spark for the Tigers, one they need to carry over past this game.
Unsung Hero: The entire SIUE Bench. Seriously, I know these are college kids, but they have to be spent after this road swing.
Teams Trending Upwards: SIUE and Tennessee State. If you look past the records, and at both of their last few performances, there’s reason to be hopeful moving forward for both teams. They’re both have the capability to be a lot more dangerous than their combined on win might lead you to believe.
Team Trending Downwards: Murray State. The Racers complexion could change when T.J. Sapp becomes eligible next month. It needs to, or it could be a very long season for one of the conference’s most storied programs.